Cementing abortion rights in Nevada’s constitution: What to know about SJR7
By Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte | May 3, 2023, 6:08 p.m.
Category: Abortion Access, Activism
The “Battle Born” state is taking decisive action this legislative session to shield Nevadans from the political and judicial offensive against reproductive rights that threatens to invade even reproductive freedom states. It’s not enough to have laws protecting access to abortion and birth control, like Nevada has. We also need these rights enshrined in our state constitution.
Just look at what’s happening with the “abortion pill,” mifepristone, which could still be banned nationwide based on the bogus and nakedly political decision of one religious right-extremist federal judge in Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court recently stayed the judge’s decision and kept mifepristone widely available – for now. But what about after the appeal makes its way through the federal appeals court system? It’s still likely that access to mifepristone could face harsh restrictions nationwide, even though more than half of abortions in the U.S. are medication abortions.
Threats like this are the reason Nevada's Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro is spearheading the charge to establish reproductive freedom as an inalienable right by sponsoring an amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 7 (SJR7,) to the state’s constitution. It would also need to pass in the 2025 legislative session in order to appear on the 2026 ballot and be decided by Nevada voters.
The resolution sends a powerful message that Nevada values the health and well-being of everyone who lives here, and we won’t stand for political interference in health care decisions.
Let’s be clear: Anti-abortion extremist groups, politicians, and judges are also coming for birth control as well as rights to access other essential reproductive health care. SJR7 would protect the right to access not only abortion, but also contraceptives, prenatal and postpartum care, safe childbirth, tubal ligation, vasectomy, miscarriage management, and infertility care.
This is part of an emerging trend in reproductive freedom states after Roe was overturned last summer. In 2022, voters in California and Michigan overwhelmingly approved ballot measures establishing the right to abortion and reproductive freedom in their state constitutions. It’s now time for Nevadans to say for themselves whether they also believe these rights and access should be more strongly protected.
We are proud to see state legislators working to safeguard our reproductive freedom for generations to come. Though many recent nationwide polls show that two thirds of Americans strongly support access to abortion, extremist minority politicians remain poised to force their bans and harsh restrictions on every state in the country. We must stand with Sen. Cannizzaro and show solid support for this historic resolution.
As it heads to the Assembly, we implore legislators to continue to fiercely protect our reproductive rights and freedom by passing SJR7 and sending it forward to the next legislative session.
In Nevada, the right to abortion is protected because of the hard work of community activists, organizers, and Nevada voters. But we are going to need your help to keep it that way. If you’re interested in joining the movement to protect reproductive freedom in this state, please fill out this volunteer interest form and one of your local organizers will be in touch with you with upcoming opportunities.
ICYMI: Our team and supporters from across the state traveled to Carson City to rally in support of SJR7 last month and share powerful testimony during the 82nd Nevada Legislative Session.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte CEO Stacy Cross speaking to supporters in Carson City, NV
“These bans especially impact communities of color and lower income folks whose access to essential reproductive care of all kinds is often limited due to deep structural inequities in our health care system.
I can speak from personal experience in my own life, and working with Planned Parenthood, that reproductive health care saves lives. We stand here today in our pink and purple shirts in solidarity with the majority of Nevadans who overwhelmingly support the right to obtain an abortion and the freedom to pursue reproductive health care.
I can say that I am proud to be a Nevadan and that my state statutorily protects access to abortion. But, as we can see by the national landscape, that may not be enough.”Hailey Lindsley, Grassroots Organizer, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
“As access to reproductive health care is stripped away from patients in states across the nation, I now care for patients from across the country who come to Nevada. Often, these are patients who travel hundreds of miles to be seen.
Like my patients, I saw that Nevada offered the promise of reproductive freedom. So I moved to Nevada years ago to raise my daughters in a state that protects their bodily autonomy and so that I could practice safe, reproductive health care in a state that protects my patients’ rights to privacy and reproductive health.
My patients and your constituents depend on us to ensure their access to safe reproductive health care. I have made a promise to my patients to continue to provide safe, accessible reproductive health care no matter what. But my promise isn’t enough.”– Kate S., Nurse Practitioner in Northern Nevada
With the introduction of this amendment, SJR7, Nevada is joining a growing number of states that have taken steps to protect reproductive freedom in their constitutions. Stay tuned for further updates on this important development.
Come join us for virtual lobby visits during California’s Capitol Week! This annual gathering brings together Planned Parenthood staff and supporters from across the state to educate, engage, and demand action from elected officials -- all from the comfort of your home.
You'll hear from special guests and engaging panels about how to take action with your local organizer this summer. You’ll also hear inspiring stories from Planned Parenthood providers and patients about why fighting for reproductive freedom is crucial, now more than ever. We can't wait to see you there!